Kenya cleared for direct flights to the USA

Kenya Airways is to evaluate the possibility of starting direct flights to the USA after the US Federal Aviation Administration awarded the carrier's home country ICAO-compliant Category I status.

The airline says its first priority is to pursue codeshare arrangements with its SkyTeam alliance partners in the USA. "This will enable us to sell tickets to and from any US state and drive revenues directly to us," it adds.

In parallel, the Nairobi-based carrier intends to "undertake a commercial evaluation and discussions with the relevant authorities to determine the viability and timing of operations".

Cat I status, awarded under the FAA's International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) scheme, indicates compliance with ICAO on safety oversight.

On its website, the FAA states that with Cat 1 status "air carriers from the assessed state may initiate or continue service to the United States in a normal manner and take part in reciprocal code share arrangements with US carriers".

FlightGlobal schedules data shows that there are currently no scheduled flights between the USA and Kenya.